“So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance” (Josh. 16:4).
Solomon proclaimed by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that to every purpose under heaven there are associated works assigned by God unto the creatures of His creation. Each and every one of these works comes to pass explicitly by the power of He who works all things after the counsel of His own will. There is also a time allotted by the Sovereign Ruler of the universe, commensurate to the purpose for the specific labours to be performed and sufficient time for the accurate completion of every assignment. This arrangement encompasses all that is created by the hand of God as the whole of existence harmoniously coexists, each part in a specific domain, every man in his order and all in an allocated time of habitation. This is the work which God has done from the beginning for the love of His Beloved and the glory of the Godhead.
This also includes every thought, word and deed of Adam and his seed after him. There has never been nor shall there ever exist a son of Adam who was not brought forth according to the wisdom and purpose of God. There are none that are born out of time, born too soon or even born in the wrong century, as is commonly speculated. The exact number of the sons of man was contained in the seed of Adam and divided unto Eve, for the procreation of those whom God had appointed a time of manifestation and there was never one who was not sufficient to the labours assigned. God set the stage of time with all things necessary as the people, places and things all function in complete harmony in the theater of their operations, This is the simplicity of God’s creation which is for the singular intent of praise unto our God.
The work which He has done, from the beginning, is for the revelation of His great name, Yehovah, the Great King over all the earth. He is Lord and Master of Abram, Isaac and Jacob (the children and fathers of promise) and His love was manifested in their lives as evidence of His supremacy. The testimony of the all-inclusive Sovereign Ruler over His handiwork is proclaimed in the visible things of creation; “being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Rms. 1:20). He has established a daily reminder that He is “God and none else; God and none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times that are not done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure: calling the ravenous bird from the east, the man that executes My counsel from a far country, truly, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will do” (Is. 46:9f).
He established the times of the habitations of the indigenous creatures commensurate to the conditions of their habitations, in the beginning before time was active, as the All Wise Master builder and Maker. He has also fixed the progress of time and predestined every event in order that they should occur sequentially, line upon line and precept upon precept, as the threads of the tapestry interwoven one unto another forming the manifestation of the finished work. The limitations of man cannot see the end from the beginning nor can he understand the finished work before it has begun yet “that which has been is now and that which is to be has already been; and God requires that which is past” (Ecc. 3:15).
The formatting of existence in this manner excludes the possibility or potential of anything new under the sun as all things purposed must come to pass in their proper order. The mind and logic of Adam is given to confuse intent with purpose in his diminutive attempts to explain the ways of God; therefore his conclusion is that God must have ‘looked ahead to see what would come to pass in order for Him to predestine the results’. While Edom may be granted to graciously concede that since God knows all things, therefore He predestined them to come to pass according to this advanced knowledge yet the children of the dust are completely devoid of both the concept of the mind of God and the ability to explain His work. The fullness of the carnal abyss of man can only speculate about the immensity and wonder of Yehovah God for having eyes to see yet will he not perceive the testimony of the creation of heaven and earth, nor of the immutable sovereignty which commands and controls every jot and tittle nor the irrefutable witness of a work, finished before the foundation of the world (Rms. 1:20).
This inherent deficiency of man has been given to him for the purpose of demonstrating how the children of the dust are plucked as the strings of an instrument by the Master musician and not by themselves. It is not the free will of man, his good intentions or his higher nobility that causes all things to sound forth in the performance of their assigned parts in the symphony of life. The vibration, as they are plucked, resonates to the praise of the Creator for it is He who causes all things to come to pass by the power of His will. He has set the stage of time full of players with their appointed instruments to bring forth the exact sound that has been deemed necessary to the circumstances of the events of the moment. He has given each the music to play, endowing them with the skill, ability and desire to play each note with perfect pitch and timing. The sounds of the instruments reverberate accordingly throughout the arena of life in the time of habitation. This melody may be one of drama or catastrophe, a song of peace or the ravages of war, the elation of joy or the heartache of sorrow but each and every note has been perfectly assigned and is performed in perfect harmony with the people and events that come to pass.
These are all meticulously interwoven together, completely cooperative and interactive according to the designs of God in their effectual working toward the inhabitants of this world as the testimony that Yehovah is the Great King over all the earth. It is He who raises up the man from the east to perform and accomplish His counsel and it is He who turns the heart of the King like the rivers of water in the way He has decreed to be both necessary and proper. He knows the frame of the earthen vessels for He has fashioned them commensurate to His purpose. He knows the heart of man because His Word is a “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12) and there is none of His creation that can stay His hand, prevent His will or frustrate the work which He has done from the beginning. The sovereign rule over all of creation and time which includes the command and control over the heart and mind of man is the testimony of the candlestick of gold with a bowl on top and His seven lamps and His seven pipes to the seven lamps with the two olive trees. This is the testimony of Yehovah unto He who is ‘come forth out of confusion by mixing’ (Zerub-babel) that it is “not by might nor by strength but by My Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts” (Zech. 4:6).
Thus the testimony, from generation to generation, of the eternal gospel is that the Lamb of God is alone worthy for He is the Lord God Omnipotent who reigns forever. “And the seventh Messenger sounded and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become of Yehovah and His Anointed and He shall reign forever and ever. And the twenty four elders which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces and worshipped God, saying, We give You thanks, Lord God Almighty, which is and was and are to come, because You have taken unto You, Your great power and have reigned” (Rev. 11:15ff).
Man may conclude that oftimes, events come to pass which are ‘unexpected’ and a bit ‘out of sorts’ but this conclusion is because the ways of man are not the ways of God and the creature does not have the mind of God. Adam does not know the purpose of God nor is he engaged in the pursuit of seeking God; he is occupied with the needs of the flesh. Yehovah also has forbidden man from finding out the work which He has done from the beginning for He has filled his mind with the cares, pleasures and disciplines of this world.
The designs of that which was formed from the dust of the earth and anticipations of the actors upon the stage of time are limited, corrupt and completely sensual. Time and chance happens to every man along what he perceives as a logical course of action based upon his choices and decision; therefore he concludes that he is a product of his environment. But “Yehovah is righteous in all His ways and Holy in all His works” (Ps. 145:17) so as these strange, wonderful and sometimes bizarre events become evident, though they be the hand of God performing His perfect will, yet man is baffled and confused at them. Though each event is decreed necessary according to the intent of the heart of God, so that as He has spoken, so they come to pass, yet are they perceived as random, catastrophic and hellacious to man. The harmony of the orchestra cannot be heard by the natural ear, Adam’s view of the passing of time is obscured by his ignorance and his awareness of God sitting in heaven and ruling over the kingdoms of this world is rejected by the pride of his heart. The heavens declare the glory of Yehovah and the firmament shows forth His handiwork and even this ignorant, stubborn and rebellious being called man is part and parcel to the whole.
Jacob was not enabled to predict the future through his observation of the weather patterns, aches and pains in his joints or of the peculiar conduct of the animals. He did not anticipate his brother’s hatred for he had rightfully obtained the birth-right. He did not expect his banishment from his father’s house for he had received the blessing, even though it was through subterfuge. He had not been properly briefed for the events with the shepherds at the well or the ‘chance meeting’ with Rachel or his love for her. He was not apprised of Laban’s deceit when he entered into a contractual agreement with him for his daughter in marriage nor had he planned for Rachel’s barrenness and the contention this brought in the family. These were all necessary for the development of Jacob into Israel.
He had not planned for the death of Joseph or that he would spend many years grieving for his lost son. He was not given eyes to see the approaching famine which was about to descend upon the land Yehovah God had appeared unto him and given him His promise of fruitfulness, longevity and prosperity, so why would Jacob have ever assumed that this was to be accomplished through a natural disaster? Nor could he anticipate the longevity or severity of this blight. He may at the beginning, hoped that Joseph was still alive but after those many years he never dreamed that his lost son was alive. How could he have known that he was not only a ruler in Egypt but also the savior of the land (Zaph-nath-pa-a-ne-ah – Gen. 41:45)?
Jacob had heard that there was bread in Egypt but neither the traders along their routes nor the local media nor any other media of man revealed unto him that Yehovah God had prepared the land of Copts with sufficient surplus to feed the world. Just as the word came to Naomi in a foreign land (Ruth 1:6) and as the word was given to the son starving in the fields of swine (Luke 15:15) so Yehovah God caused Jacob to hear and believe that there was food in Egypt and He made him willing, in the day of His power, to act upon that which he had heard. Jacob’s endeavours to save the lives of his family were paramount to him and, by the time the famine had come to the level of severity wherein he had nothing, which was in the fullness of time, his heart was then properly prepared to abase himself before the foreign powers to buy such as was needful. (How much food could Jacob have purchased in this time of dyer need had not God made him prosperous and wealthy? – Gen. 30:43 & 35:11ff)
Jacob did not care about the politics in this far away land and he was not given to turn unto God to seek deliverance yet Yehovah caused him to act exactly as was predestinated unto His glory and honour. When the news came to him that there was food in Egypt, his heart was made willing and he sent forth his sons to buy such as was needful. The events which unfolded in this foreign land, the accusations against his sons and the incarceration of Simeon added vexation upon bitterness to the heart of Jacob; all he wanted was food for his family, now he had an international incident on his hands and the demand of a world leader for the life of the son of my right hand, Benjamin. The pain and anxiety of all this commotion and confusion must have filled the mind of Jacob with severe doubts and fears as this tender young lad was ‘sacrificed’ for the well-being of the family. This was the harmony of the music of the great symphony of Yehovah God as He delivered His people from certain death into life.
Jacob waited those long silent nights anxiously awaiting the return of his sons with the food. He had been ‘blind-sided’ twice before with events that he never expected and so there was much cause for his apprehensions. He never anticipated to hear the news that Joseph was alive. He had long ago given up hope to ever see him again let alone that he who was lost was now a ruler of a powerful country. What joy must have accompanied him on the journey to Egypt where he fell upon his neck, weeping, and kissed Joseph?
Jacob was not planning to pack up his belongings and move his family in the midst of the famine. He had no intentions of relocating his family into the land of Egypt, he probably did not even know where the land of Goshen was and he certainly did not intend to live out the remaining years of his life there. How could he possibly have expected to meet grandchildren he never knew he had?
His inability to see, understand and predict the events that were unfolding before his very eyes made him the passive recipient of that which God had ordained for his life. Each of these events were hazards upon the ordained path, bends in the assigned road and pot holes along the way to prove that “the way of man is not in himself; it is not of man that walks to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). These events were part of the trials and tribulations which God had afore prepared for Israel for the trying of his faith, which is the imputed faith of the Son of God. Every one of these calamities and heartaches, disappointments and failures (the wormwood and the gal) were and are the necessary ingredients in the life of the individual that prepares and enables him to properly perform his part, walk his path, run his race and complete the labours assigned unto him.
“But many first shall be last and the last, first” (Matt:19:30)
Reuben was the first-born of Jacob. He lived almost sixty years before he knew that he had a nephew that was born of Egyptian heritage to a brother he had conspired to eliminate from the family. There is no record given of any prior meeting between the family members until Reuben was about ninety and Jacob was 130 years of age, so for all those years, he who was first born remained as the first born with all rights and privileges and without any indication of what was about to happen.
Ephraim was the youngest son of Joseph the presumed youngest son of Jacob for Joseph was not aware of the birth of Benjamin or the death of his mother. Ephraim had no right to the seat or privilege of the first born either in his family or that of his grandfather’s. He was of another generation and of mixed blood and there is no indication that he even knew that there were family members dwelling a few days journey north. He was raised in the Coptic way, he spoke the Egyptian language and his education was one of the elite royal families. His grandfather was a priest of On and he dwelt in the wealth and delicacies of the land and he may not have spoken the Hebrew language, as evident by his communication (or lack thereof) with Jacob. He was also ignorant of the essential nature of all these qualities and deficiencies (as man would conclude) for he had not the mind of God. He could never have imagined as he stood before this old man and did reverence before him that in the twinkling of an eye, he would be vaulted to the first chair and be named the rightful heir of the birthright of Israel.
This did not come to pass because of any inherent quality in Ephraim or based upon anything that he had done nor did it transpire in retribution for the lewdness of Reuben for then is the way of God with respect for man. Rather all these things came to pass as a testimony to the power of Yehovah God unto deliverance and a witness to the mystery of that gospel; “That the nations should be fellow heirs and of the same body and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel” (Eph. 3:6). He also did not see the fact that because this old man by the hand of Yehovah God just made him the first-born of the family, that he and his family would soon be exiled into labour and bondage when in the fullness of time Yehovah God would bring to power in the ‘great house’ a King who was obsessed with racial and social purity.
Ephraim was not asked if he accepted this honour bestowed upon him and there was no apparent indication that there was any reason that he should accept it yet he served in this capacity without any pomp or grandeur. He was not exempt from the four hundred and thirty years of oppression and servitude, nor did his children occupy any venerated status while languishing under the taskmaster’s whips. He was identified with his people, condemned to a life of servitude and in the promised day the tribe of Ephraim was delivered from the oppression of Pharaoh by the outstretched hand of Yehovah God. His children saw the cloud and the pillar as the power of God parted the sea and they walked, dry-shod across the river bed. They were one with the nation of Israel, who entered Egypt as twelve sons of one man and left as one mighty and wealthy nation and as they came to the base of Mt. Sinai they met “I AM”. They saw the lightnings and heard the thunders and the sound of the trumpet and of mighty waters and they withdrew from such power and majesty. They received the Law of God at the base of the mount and swore that all He had commanded them, through Moses, they would do. They complained about the lack of drinking water and the absence of bread in the wilderness. They murmured against Moses and Aaron, desiring to return unto Egypt, they gave of their possessions to fashion the calf of gold, they rose up to play under the sound of war and then wandered for forty years in the wilderness. Yehovah God made the son of an Egyptian queen the first born of Jacob and made his family united as one in Israel in every detail, including the rebellion, trespasses and sin against God.
The doctrine of Adam teaches that status is very important. Some feel that the standing of a person with God will have en effect upon their offspring through a special dispensation. Others proclaim that works or decisions may change a person’s status with God and alter the way they live. This change will then progress throughout the person’s lifetime until such time as they are seasoned for entrance into the heavenly kingdom. And still more are convinced that persistence in arguments, presentations and outward demonstrations will lead others to belief in the truth but the testimony of the scriptures gives no such evidence.
Today many feel they have a good understanding of the will of God. They have made merchandise out of these speculations and conjectures of the methods and materials a person need to find and know the will of God. Great wealth and prominence has been procured from these very suave and debonair snake charmers and sooth-sayers because the children of Adam seek to know the answers to life. Each desires to understand their purpose in this life, the reason behind the events of each day and the comfort of knowing what things shall be. Speculations about the daily practices and habits for the denial of the flesh as a show of piety and self-righteousness are coupled together with numerous mantras, rituals and self-imposed labours to divert the mind from earthly pursuits in order to free the creature up for more paradisiacal pursuits. The more flamboyant and charismatic a speaker or writer is the more massive and emotional the crowds are which flock to hear his opinion and seek his advice. Thus the natural man openly demonstrates his complete deference to the reality of this existence and his total deficiency of the most important element; faith.
Ephraim was elevated to a most austere status in the family but the promotion and the honour that accompanied it were not well received. Even his father attempted to nullify the transaction when he saw that Jacob had crossed his hands, laying the right upon the younger and the left upon the elder son. But the way of God is not according to the conclusions which man may deduce or according to what man may believe is correct. Ephraim had no outward proof of the veracity of Jacob’s action yet he accepted it by faith. Faith in the word of his grand-father, faith in the acceptance of the family and faith in the importance of the venture for as the type of the mystery of the gospel, he knew he had no right to anything that transpired that day when an aged old man put his hands upon his head and pronounced a blessing. Nor is there any record of any tangible evidence of the benefit of that blessing, yet he was blessed of Israel and called his first born.
The children of grace have the Spirit of the most High God dwelling in them. He is the Comforter who is given not to enable His people to see the future but to explain the trials and tribulations of the present “and He will shew you the things to come” (John 16:13). The things which are to come are contingent upon that which is now and there is nothing new under the sun. The children are strangers in a foreign land and travelers through a barren wilderness. They understand the future as the time when this habitation shall be no more; then shall the sons of God be manifested. They have no proof of their sonship that can be discerned by the flesh, they are hated and despised by all men and they have no hope in this world. Thus this band of peculiar people, sojourners in this weary land, walk by faith. They have been taught of the Spirit the uncleanness of their ways in Adam and they have been made subject to the weakness and frailties of Adam. They live by the faith of the Son of God who loved them and gave Himself for them, they walk in the light of the Lord for they are children of light and they keep His commandments because He has written His Law in their hearts. They have the mind of the Anointed in them, therefore they are of no reputation as the servants of Yehovah and the Spirit causes them to “walk in My statutes and you shall keep my judgments and do them” (Ezek. 36:27). These are the sheep of His pasture; they hear His voice and follow Him. Another’s voice they will not hear nor will they walk in any other path but the footsteps of the flock.
“Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oshea the son of Nun” (Num. 13:8)
The testimony of the gospel of Yehovah God continued to be manifested in the men who were sent into the land of Canaan. Moses commanded these men, each a chief ruler of his tribe, to go over the river and spy out the land. This reconnaissance patrol left out from the wilderness of the ‘gleaming caverns’ (Paran) to go southward and spy out the land. Their objective was to “see the land and what it is and the people that dwell therein, whether strong or weak, few or many and what of the land that they dwell in, whether good or bad; and what of the cities that they dwell in, whether in tents or in strong holds; and what the land, whether lean or fat, whether there be wood therein or not. Be of good courage and bring of the fruit of the land for now is the time of the first ripe grapes” (Num. 13:18ff).
These twelve ‘forward observers’ for the nation of Israel were all dispatched with the same charge and although each man walked in the steps specifically ordained for them, yet they all traveled together in the same direction. There were no independent patrols or personal sorties into the ‘bad lands’ for they were commissioned and sent forth as a unit. They all saw the goodness of the land and the nature of the people therein and they each returned with the bounty of the land. But only two returned with a report that was not solely based upon what was seen and a testimony which did not stem from the fear which grew from their observances. These men were faithful witnesses to the power of God unto deliverance for, although they saw with the natural eyes the strength of the giants in the land and the weapons of their warfare, yet they possessed a virtue which the others were devoid of; faith.
The tribe of praise (Judah) had selected the chief of their tribe to stand for them not according to a popularity vote or by lot or by raffle. Caleb (dog) was raised up by the decree of Yehovah God to be a champion of truth, a faithful steward and a man of faith. His testimony to the Lord God Omnipotent who rules over the kingdoms and inhabitants of this world came not by the natural cognitive abilities of man or by the advice, indoctrination or teaching of others. This was a child of the Israel of our God in whom the spirit of the Most High dwelt. He had the fruit of the Spirit, which is faith and which was manifested in the face of the overwhelming evidence and testimony of his peers to the contrary. This child of the promise, who walked in the light of Yehovah God and of His Lamb, could do no less than proclaim Praise unto Yehovah through trust in His word. This one, who was of the remnant according to grace, kept the commandment, spoke the truth and was faithful unto the end. These actions gave witness that his strength was not in the arm of the flesh, his confidence was not in the abilities of man and his hope was not in the nation of Israel.
The other who was given to bear a faithful witness was of the house tribe of ‘double fruitfulness’ (Ephraim). This was the smallest of the twelve and the last tribe manifested and the name of the chief of this tribe was Hoshea which is interpreted, salvation. He was a son of Israel who brought forth with the testimony of Praise unto Yehovah (Judah) the promise of deliverance by the hand of Yehovah. Thus this remnant of two men presented the good news of the deliverance of Yehovah in the praise of His name and they were rejected of the people.
Hoshea was the son of Nun, (‘fish’ or ‘prosperity’). According to the abundance of the catch, the fishermen were made prosperous, which was beneficial to all in sustaining life and other uses. Hoshea is the son of prosperity and yet as common as a fish. The mystery of the gospel is not about the fish of the sea or the dog of the field; it is concerning the undesirable of the world and the many seed scattered throughout the globe from generation to generation. “Therefore behold the days come, said Yehovah, that it shall no more be said; Yehovah lives that brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt: But Yehovah lives that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from the lands whither He has driven them and I will bring them into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold I will send for many fishers, said Yehovah, and they shall fish them and after I will send many hunters and they shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and out of the holes of the rocks, for Mine eyes are upon all their ways. They are not hid from My face neither is their iniquity hid from Mine eyes. First I will recompense their iniquity and the sin double because they have defiled My land and they have filled Mine inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable things” (Jer. 16:14f).
The comfort to the redeemed of the Lord is that their “warfare is accomplished and that her iniquity is pardoned, for she has received of the hand of Yehovah double for all her sins” (Is. 40:2). He has scattered His seed throughout the field which He purchased when He sold all that He had and bought the field (Matt. 13:44). This seed has fallen where He has ordained, some unto the condemnation of the wicked and some unto the good ground which brought forth fruit. The mystery which was hid from the beginning is that this seed is planted in earthen vessels of every nation, every kindred, every tribe and every tongue and is manifested in the abundance of “some an hundred fold, some sixty fold and some thirty fold; who has ears to hear, let him hear” (13:8). Now the sower is God for it is His seed born from above. The field is that which has been formed from the dust of the earth and has been afore prepared unto the glory of this habitation. The seed is the inner man who grows in the grace and knowledge of His will and brings forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. This is the vineyard of Yehovah, the abundance of the sea and the harvest of His plantation.
Salvation is the prosperity of the fruitfulness of abundance (Hoshea the son of Nun son of Ephraim) wherein His children have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). The waters wherein this ‘prosperity’ dwells are the “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” (Rev. 17:15), the sound of mighty waters (roaring) is the voice of God wherein His people hear His voice and live. His salvation is unto the election according to grace which is made partakers of the flesh and blood “of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues”. His people have ears to hear the speaking of truth in love which is the preaching of the gospel. These gladly receive His word which is the power of God unto salvation. It is the same word of all who, following Him, have been ‘sent out with orders’ (apostle) being made “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19) as they are made “ready always to give and answer to every man that asks you the reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (I Pt. 3:15).
The salvation of Yehovah is not to a people who were born of the will of man therefore it is not unto the sanctification, preservation or perfection of the seed of Adam. Salvation is not limited to a people whom God chose to show forth the pattern of heavenly things. It is not exclusive to those whom He gave the hand-writing of ordinances, the observances of days and the first principles of the doctrine of the Anointed. The deliverance of the Anointed salvation of Yehovah is unto His people, the redeemed of the Lord, who have been planted in the good ground to bring forth fruit and are of the abundance of the earth. The Lamb of God was sacrificed to take away the sins of the world and “the power of God unto salvation (is) to everyone that believes; to the Jew first and also to the barbarians” (Rms. 1:16). The abundance of this ‘called out assembly’ is “a great number which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues” (Rev. 7:9). “Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure having this seal; the Lord knows them that are His. The shed blood was exactly commensurate to the sin of His people in Adam and the grace of Yehovah is sufficiently efficacious unto each and every one of His Beloved. Joshua the son of Nun, chief of the house of Ephraim represents the mystery, the deliverance and the deliverer.
There can be only one Word of God for He is One. His way is singular, His purpose is all encompassing and His Word is faithful. The fullness of the Godhead includes everything, inseparably joined together unto the cohesive whole. He alone is Faithful and True, being complete and consistent as Yehovah God for in Him dwelt the fullness of the Godhead, bodily. There is no shadow of turning in Him because He cannot change; His Word is love and that is eternal. Hoshea saw as did Caleb the tangible pleasantries of the land and the formidability of the Canaanites but his testimony was to the power of God unto salvation. Neither he nor Caleb is deserving of the accolades of man for what they did was not by the will of man; it was by faith.
“…but you shall call your walls salvation and your gates praise” (Is. 60:18)
Long before the nation of Israel fought the battles under Joshua, before they crossed over the Jordan River, before they received their inheritance by lot, long before they had subdued the land before them, the New Jerusalem stood. This is the reality of that which was manifested in their midst in type and foreshadow of the Tabernacle, the law and the people of Israel. Praise which is the gate and the walls of salvation are the testimony to the power and faithfulness of Yehovah God and the work which He finished from the foundation of the world. The evidence before the children of Israel from the ten messengers of the people of the land and the formidability of their cities was intimidating to the flesh. The abundant evidence of the fruitfulness of the land could not overturn the hardness of their rebellious hearts for they had forgotten God. The enormous clusters of grapes which they brought back from the expedition were indeed tangible proof to the “land whither you sent us and surely it flows with milk and honey and this is the fruit of it” (Num. 13:27). Yet the people were given to trust in the arm of the flesh, therefore they feared for their lives. The report, “We are not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we” was correct for these were great people and well fortified cities while Israel was a small wandering band of people. Their eyes being blinded by fear and their minds filled with doubt, they were given to believe the majority report. They were devoid of faith and even as the cloud and the pillar stood before them, they followed after their natural course rather than trust in Yehovah God. Indeed “all men have not faith” (II Thes. 3:2) and without faith it is impossible to please or obey Him.
Caleb, ‘the dog’, was a man of faith but since the dog was considered an ‘abasement’ and ‘contemptible’ animal and not welcomed in the clean society of Israel, Caleb (Heb. keh-lev) was not among the beautiful people of the nation. Many have speculated that he was named keh-lev because of the faithfulness of a dog but the evidence would suggest that the man had the ability to strike and attack; thus the name was given as a preview of what the man was to be. (See Josh. 14).
Caleb represents a type of people of this world who are considered outcast and unworthy of consideration by the ‘righteous’ of the world. They are passionate and zealous in their ways but they are shunned by society and considered peculiar, thus they do not fit in as proper ‘role models’. But God has chosen to identify His people in the same manner. These are they which trouble the land in their belief in the sovereign government of God. They have been taught that the promise of God is greater than the intentions or merits of man and they are zealous unto good works. They are indeed in the world yet they are not of the world. Caleb was raised up by the hand of God as ‘he who is prepared’ (Jephunneh) to be the chief of the house of praise but he also type of the Gentile dogs who are of the house of praise in the Israel of our God (Mark 7:25:30); “for they are not all Israel which are of Israel” (Rms. 9:6).
Hoshea, whose name would be later called Jehoshua, the salvation of Yah (Num. 13:16) stood together with Caleb, having their hearts knit together in love. He spoke the truth in love being faithful in the Anointed Head, Yehovah God. He spoke of the abundance of the provisions of God for His people and testified to the power of God unto deliverance. He gave the account of the hope that was in him, saying, “Since Yehovah delights in us He has brought us into this land and given it to us, a land which is flowing with milk and honey” (Num. 14:8). His confidence was not in man and his testimony was unto the work of God.
Hoshea was the only man, besides Moses, who saw the tablets written with the finger of God upon Mt. Sinai. He was with Moses as his minister when he went up into the mount to stand before Yehovah God for forty days. The other elders of Israel were forbidden to accompany Moses into the presence of God (Ex. 24:23), being full of fear and doubt as they murmured against Moses and God. They desired to return to Egypt as they delighted in the memories of the “leaks and onions” as they laboured in the pits rather than dying in the desert.
Joshua of Ephraim, a tribe of which is spoken nothing in the attention to or maintenance of the altar, was chosen and appointed to stand with Moses before God as a picture of the salvation of Yehovah. Here in the midst of the engulfing fire, the quaking ground, the lightnings and voice of many thunders, the righteous demands of God’s Law stood together in peace with the deliverer (Joshua) and the delivered (Moses – drawn out) continually before the throne of God, protected and preserved in Him. Nothing could separate them from the love which God was demonstrating to them on this day. The continuity of the nature and work God was again manifested many years later when Jesus (Yehoshua) stood on the mount with Moses and Elias (Luke 9:28ff - law and prophets) and was transformed before the disciples. God had not changed His plans nor devised a new way of accomplishing His will; He gave an open demonstration of the singularity of His Word when He showed forth His salvation in the last days. This was first given to shew that His people were not judged on how well they kept a law they had not yet received and again to confirm that His Elect servant had finished the work in righteousness, keeping every jot and tittle of that perfect Law. The delivered of Yehovah have been numbered of His from the beginning and no man can snatch them out of His hands; “Behold I have graven you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before Me” (Is. 49:16).
When Moses did not return in a time frame agreeable to the people, they rose up and played as they danced about the golden calf fashioned by Aaron from the gold of Egypt. Moses then “turned and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony in his hands; the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other they were written. And the tables were the work of God and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as the shouted, he said unto Moses, A noise of war in the camp” (Ex. 32:15ff). As the wrath of God was set upon the nation Moses entered into the Tabernacle with Joshua and spoke to God “face to face as a man speaks unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp, but his servant, Joshua, son of Nun, did not depart out of the Tabernacle” (Ex. 33:11). The salvation of Yehovah stood before the testimony of His mercy for his people as the Law was sent forth to manifest the wages of sin. The first born of Israel represented his people before the mercy seat of God.
Years later, Joshua and Caleb stood alone and bore witness to the truth as the remnant according to grace. They were not swayed by public opinion nor did they retreat when threatened with violence. They remained faithful to their zeal for the Lord, for He had redeemed them from all their iniquity and purified unto Himself as the representatives of a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Tit. 2:14). They were made willing in the day of His power to walk in the commandment of God by His Spirit. They gave the answer of a good conscience before the Lord and they perfectly executed the good works they had been created in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah unto; “Yehovah shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion ruling in the midst of your enemies; Your people, willing in the day of Your power in the beauty of Holiness from the womb of the morning” (Ps. 110:2f). They reminded the nation of Israel of the numerous demonstrations of the majesty of a sovereign God over the elements of the world and the governments of man as He delivered them from Pharaoh, fed them each day with Manna and shewed them the testimony of His grace in the land before them; “Do not rebel against Yehovah, neither fear the people of the land for they are bread to us, their defence is departed from them and Yehovah is with us: do not fear them” (Num. 14:9).
“Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him” (John 10:31)
Two socially and religiously undesirable people were given to remain faithful and speak the truth. They could not deny the testimony of the Spirit within as they kept the commandments of God, therefore they were hated of all men; “but ALL the congregation bade stone them with stones” (Num 14:10). These two had the manifest token of the righteous judgment of God being counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which they suffered (II Thes. 1:5). They abode in the fellowship of the sufferings of the Anointed Servant of God and being despised and rejected of their own kinsman, they were confident in the God in whom they believed. They stood before the nation of Israel as the type of the two witnesses, being anointed from the source (olive trees) and holding forth the light (candlesticks) “standing before the god of the earth” (Rev. 11:4). They were given a mouth to speak truth, for all men are liars, and they “earnestly contended” for the faith that was in them; for this they were to be stoned to death. “But this I confess unto you, that after they way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets” (Acts 24:14).
Messiah came unto the nation of Israel and they did not receive Him for He, being the righteous God, was despised and rejected of all men; “And this is the condemnation, that the light is come into the world and men love darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Jesus told His disciples not to expect to be welcomed by the people of Israel, socially or religiously, for they had turned their backs unto Yehovah God. He told them that adherence to the truth infuriates Adam and causes him to act hatefully. He taught them through the parable of the certain man who planted a vineyard and sent many messengers unto the husbandmen; “that they should give him the fruit of the vineyard, but the husbandmen beat him and sent away empty”. This was repeated many times, each time the messengers were despised, rejected and shamefully entreated, until the master of the vineyard sent forth his “beloved son: it may be they will reverence when they see him. But when the husbandmen saw him they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir. Come let us kill him that the inheritance may be ours” (Lk. 20:9ff). This is the conduct of the sons of Adam, the children of disobedience, wherein dwells the seed of the wicked one toward the beloved Son of God; how then should they act with regard to the sons of God? He that endures to the end shall be delivered (Mk 13:13).
Joshua and Caleb also stand as a type of the elect sons of God as they dwell in this world. They have the true testimony of the power and glory of God dwelling within them and they walk by faith. Naturally speaking, these two were no stronger than the other men with them on the expedition neither were they more skilled in military strategy to devise a plan of attack to combat and overcome the indigenous people of the land. They saw the giants, the sons of Anak, they saw the fortified cities and the well-established societies of the region and, no doubt from a natural stand point, were all of the same opinion. But their cognitive abilities and natural inhibitions were over ruled by the faith that dwelt in them as the Spirit caused them to trust God rather than man.
There is no praise unto these as the sons of Adam and they are not men to be revered for they possessed every doubt and fear that is common to the flesh; yet they walked by faith and that not of themselves. The path which they were assigned was occupied by ten other men who walked were they walked and saw what they saw. The eyes of the ten were open to the natural conditions and formidable armies of the people; the eyes of these ‘holy ones’ had been opened by the power of God to bear witness unto “a white horse and He that sat on him had a bow and a crown was given unto Him and He went forth conquering and to conquer” (Rev. 6:2). They were convinced that the battle was not to the mighty, the race not unto the swift nor the victory unto the strong for “Yehovah shall fight for you and you shall hold your peace” (Ex. 14:14).
“But My people would not hearken to my voice and Israel would none of Me, so I gave them up unto the lust of their own hearts and the walked in their own counsels” (Ps. 81:11).
The remaining spies represent the nature according to Adam in every man. They have the open declaration of the wonders of the promise of God and His bountiful goodness yet they glorify Him not as God neither is any son of Adam thankful. God has sent forth His word by the testimony of creation but the logic of man rejects what he sees. God has set the heavens above and the firmament below to sing forth His sovereign command over all yet the imaginations of the heart of man devises theories and conjectures based upon speculations and superstitions; “The fool has said in his heart, no God. Corrupt are they and have done abominable iniquity for none do good” (Ps. 53:1).
Almighty God has also sent forth His word by the pattern of heavenly things in the law and the covenant and by His servants, the prophets and man, made these into an enterprise for profit and gain. The glory of the tabernacle and the ceremonies of the Law of Moses show forth the grace and mercy of God as they demonstrate the perfection of His Holiness and to be obedient to His ways. Man however is deceived to think he is the master over these types and foreshadows rather than the student. They establish the dramatic difference between the ways and means of the nature of man and the way of God but man loves his ways. Throughout the fullness of every ritual, ceremony and feast day observance is the singular mandate of obedience which father Adam proved could not be done. Though these all present the glory and brilliance of God yet man loves the darkness of this world. Through this one act of disobedience by Adam, sin entered into the world and death by sin; therefore his children are dead in trespasses and sin. The natural man cannot see God in His works, will not hear the law and the prophets and will not be persuaded by one, even one who has risen from the dead (Luke 16:31).
The mercy of God based completely upon His eternal love for those who are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father through the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Christ” is demonstrated in the sacrifices for sin, peace, trespass, thanksgiving, cleansing specifically and the morning and evening oblation generally. The ‘intellectual honesty’ of the creature with his limited, flawed and corrupt cognitive abilities continues to assure God that he can keep His law and be obedient yet the witness stands against him. He resolves to amend the statutes, judgments and commandments to make them more appealing to his ways just as father Adam did when he fashioned his aprons of fig leaves. Man constantly defiles the type and make merchandise of the patterns for personal glory; “And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her for no man will buy their merchandise any more: the merchandise of gold, silver and precious stones; of pearls and fine linen of purple, silk scarlet and thyine wood and all manner of vessels of ivory and all manner of vessels of most precious wood and of brass and iron and marble; and cinnamon and odours and ointments and frankincense and wine and oil and fine flour and wheat and beasts and sheep and horses and chariots and slaves and souls of men and the fruit that your soul lusts after are departed from you and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from you and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing” (Rev. 18:11ff).
Yehovah God sent His messengers, Joshua and Caleb, to speak to the sons of the dust, warning them of the corruption of their ways and the judgment of God; “And they spoke unto all the company of the children of Israel saying, ‘The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceedingly good land. Since Yehovah delights in us, then He will bring us into the land and give it to us; a land which flows with milk and honey (the abundant delicacies of nature). Only do not rebel against Yehovah, neither fear the people of the land for they are bread (food) for us; their defence is departed from them and Yehovah is with us; do not fear them” (Num. 14:7ff). These, like every messenger sent of God, know that the perceived reality of what is seen in nature is temporal and fades away with the using; yet they are strengthened in the inner man with all wisdom and spiritual understanding, being confident of the Sovereignty of God over all things. They are taught of the Spirit that the Lord God Omnipotent reigns over His creation and the inhabitants of this world are accounted as nothing. Everything comes to pass after the counsel of His will and not according to the natural logic of man. The prophets “rising up early and saying”, from generation to generation, spoke of the goodness and mercy of God in the trials and tribulations of this life; “yet you would not hear”.
Not only is the natural man incapable of receiving or knowing the things of the Spirit but he is diametrically opposed to them. He does not desire to hear the truth for men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19). He cannot hear the word of God because that Word is not for him (John 8:43). He has natural ears to hear the natural things of the world which draw his attention after that which activates his senses. He is accustomed to the language of Ashdod and finds comfort in rhetoric and natural sciences. Singing the songs of the vanity of this life, he dances to the music of mirth ever seeking and striving after the comforts of this habitation.
The natural man loves to ascend to the god of war and contention (Mars) for he is curious to hear something new (Acts17:21). He rejoices in the hardships and travails of others, whereby he judges his station in life but he cannot hear the truth for it is foreign to him. He is convinced in his mind that sin is an illusion made up by religion to give a false sense of humility. He scoffs at the notion of the shed blood for the remission of sin, esteeming the blood of the sacrifice worthless and the preaching of the cross foolishness (I Cor. 1:18). He lives under the delusion of righteousness saying, “all these things have I kept from my youth upward” and boasts that he is not like others. He calls God unfair in His administration of His grace unto the election according to grace and demands his own freedom of choice and will. He dismisses what he cannot understand and accuses God of sin when His ways do not fit into the feeble confines of man’s theology. The pride of the heart has deceived him and fear betrays him for he is dust “and to the dust you shall return”.
Twelve men entered the land which Yehovah God had promised unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Ten were incapable of obedience by nature and, being sons of perdition, possessed the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. God was displeased with them for they “have now tempted Me these ten times and have not hearkened unto My voice; surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto the fathers, neither shall any that provoke Me see it”.
The testimony of Almighty God, however, was that the remnant, according to grace, “had another spirit with him and has followed Me fully”. This is why the ‘great serpent’ was and still is wroth with the seed of the woman, who is Jerusalem from above, the mother of us all (Gal. 4:26), for these keep the commandment of God. The commandment is the Word of God which cannot change. The actors are inhabitants of the seed of Adam and the stage is where God’s creation is manifested; the only thing that is different is the time of the habitation of each actor. Adam was created corruptible and incapable of keeping the commandment; therefore he was disobedient according to his nature. The daughters of Jerusalem are born from above of the incorruptible seed and are made partakers of flesh and blood. They, being sons of God, have the power of God unto obedience through the Anointing. Since God cannot deny himself, neither can His eternal seed deny their unity in Him, thus the spiritual man cannot disobey the commandment of the King of Kings.
The ‘other spirit’ can be none other than the Spirit of the Most high God who causes the children of Zion to “walk in My statutes and keep MY judgments and do them” (Ezek. 36:26f) as the children of the new covenant. They are outnumbered, being a remnant and the public opinion is always against them yet they remain faithful to the truth through Him who is the Truth. The confirmation of the witness of the Spirit gives these prisoners of hope the mouth to speak and the fortitude to withstand the opposition saying; “Only do not rebel against Yehovah, neither fear the people of the land” but Israel, having eyes to see they saw, but did not perceive, having ears to hear they heard yet did not understand (Ezek. 12:2). (Jesus told His disciples that the children of this world were given the gospel in parables “that seeing they may see and not perceive and hearing they may hear and not understand lest at any time they should be converted and sins should be forgiven – Mark 4:12) The Adamic nature was incapable of obedience no matter what the evidence is or how much God continues to show signs and wonders in the heavens. The eternal seed is incapable of disobedience because of the power of God within, whereby the children of God “love Yehovah your God with all heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Deut. 6:5).
“And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, saying, You are a great people and have great power, you shall not have only one lot; but the mountain shall be yours, for it is wood and you shall cut it down: and the outgoing of it shall be yours for you shall drive out the Canaanites though they have iron chariot and though they be strong” (Josh. 17:17).
Ephraim was the least of the children of Jacob yet he is acknowledged as being a great and strong people. The lot of his inheritance began on the east (the rising of the sun) with the crown of glory (Ata-roth-addar) and included the house of hollowness (Beth-horon). This all-inclusive spectrum of the type of the mystery of the gospel is an indication of the wonders of God toward the children of the Kingdom of our God. Though they dwell in the earthen vessels afore prepared for them (Josh 16:5-8) yet has God prepared a place for them; “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose” (Is. 35:1).
As their portion approaches the ‘roaring’ of the sea (west), there is the ‘hiding place’ (Mich-me-thah) of a ‘hidden treasure’ (north) which proceeds the ‘encounter of peace’ (Ta-a-nath-shiloh) where ‘he rests’ (Ja-no-hah). These boundaries of the habitation of Ephraim make reference to the warfare of the confusion of this world and the vanity unto which the children of hope have been made subject. The Father does not leave them to find their way or to wander aimlessly about a barren wilderness. Rather, because of the faithfulness of His elect Servant who is the treasure in the earthen vessels, He has provided way stations where the weary travelers may rest as a foretaste of the rest in the Anointing. Messiah has finished the work given Him of the Father and fulfilled the Law in all righteousness. His children, His bride, His body has entered into that rest, which is eternal. According to the eternal love of the Father, the shed blood of the Lamb of God and the resurrection of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, the entire house has been “quickened together with Christ (for by grace are you delivered) and has raised up together and made to sit together in heavenly places in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah” (Eph. 2:5f). He has also given them the communion of the Spirit in testimony of the truth and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keeps their hearts and minds through the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah (Phil. 4:7).
Here in the place where ‘he rest’ is the ‘crown’ (Ataroth) of His beloved maiden (Naarath), the reflection of the glory of God ‘come down from above’ (Jordan). This is the new moon (Jericho) of the new month which is the beginning of days wherein the glory of God is manifested to all men in testimony of the power of His name. As the new moon was the sign unto Moses that the Word of God was true and His promises without repentance, so the bride, as manifested in the time of habitation when the children are made partakers of flesh and blood, is the testimony of the surety of the love of God. Yet as with the natural sphere in the evening sky, man cannot hear the heavens declare the glory of the Lord or see the firmament which shews forth His handiwork (Ps. 19:1).
This Jericho was the first conquest of the land after the children of Israel crossed the river. It represented the beginning of the conflicts that were before the children of Israel as they came into the land God had given them. Herein was the Salvation of Yehovah (Joshua) magnified in the sight of the people as the hand of Yehovah was manifested through His servant and herein was the nature of Adam revealed once again. The mighty power and glory of Yehovah was openly demonstrated as the walls of this house of contention came tumbling down and in the midst of this marvelous work, the ‘troubler’ (Achan) “took of the accursed thing and the anger of Yehovah was kindled against the children of Israel” (Josh. 7:1). The type stands in the habitation of this dwelling that when the work of God is done (which is that His people believe) the lusts of the flesh are enraged after the trivial and temporal corruption of this world; “for I find then a law that when I would do good, evil is present” (Rms. 7:21).
The border then continued from the ‘place fruitful with apples’ (Tap-puah) unto the fragrant stalks of the calamus reeds (Kanah). Here the mystery of the gospel was preserved in the inheritance of the children of Israel as he dwelt between the Jordan River and the great sea. His brother Manasseh dwelt to the north and the beloved Benjamin to the south as the sons of Joseph inherited more land than any other son of Jacob in the Land of Promise.
The sons of the one who was presumed to be dead for thirteen years yet he lived, were indeed a great people of ‘distinguished strength’. They inhabited an area that included a ‘place of rest and peace’ (Beth Shean) for the ‘dwelling of generations’ (Dor) which the indigenous people of the land believed was the ‘fountain of their habitation’ (Endor). Yet this was a ‘place of crowd’ (Megiddo) that was built upon the ‘sandy soil’ (Ta-a-nanch) which would ‘destroy the people’ (Ibleam). These were the prominent towns previously built by the Canaanites in the land of ‘their portion’ (Gerer) and though the charge of Moses to Israel was “You shall utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations, which you shall possess served their gods upon the mountains and upon the hills and under every green tree: And you shall overthrow their alters and break down their pillars and burn their groves with fire and you shall hew down the graven images of their gods and destroy the name of them out of that place” (Deut. 12:2f). Neither the tribes of Manasseh nor the tribe of Ephraim were able to be obedient.
The people of the land (Canaanites) were indeed put to pay the tribute of forced labour when Israel waxed strong, but the nation of Israel could not utterly drive them out. God had afore ordained to leave this testimony in the midst of these people as a reminder that there is no strength in the arm of the flesh and no power unto obedience in Adam. Even though the sons of Joseph were a mighty people who took the mountain, even though the inhabitants had ‘tools of iron’ and ‘stoutly teams of horses’ nevertheless they were sons of Adam given to the passions, limitations and frailties of man.
“And Yehovah said unto her, Two nations in your womb and two manner of people shall be separated from your bowel; and people shall be stronger than people and the elder shall serve the younger” (Gen. 25:23).
That which is first is natural and although it may not be apparent yet Esau has been afore prepared to be the servant of Jacob. The child of promise, being made partaker of flesh and blood, is dwelling in a foreign land. There is no meat in the wilderness and the bitter water cannot quench the thirst of the soul. The natural children speak in a strange tongue, follow after the courses of the land, they worship the creation and despise the Creator. This is the land where the children of promise dwell in the habitation of this dwelling.
Esau appears to be the gifted one who is well liked and who is properly equipped to fend for himself. He has the roots of his heritage in the land wherein his family is at rest and many congregate together to enjoy the food, the frivolity and the mirth of the music and dance of the marketplace. He is busied in the affairs of his environment, he is concerned about the government and the commerce of the day and he is at peace in the sandy soil. Upon this sand he has constructed his house, confident in the materials and construction which shall withstand the waves and the storms, and under the sand he will ‘cover the people’ when they have concluded the time of their habitation.
But this is completely contrary to the children of hope. They hunger and thirst after righteousness, which cannot be found among the sons of Adam, and are sustained by the ‘Bread of life’ which cannot be found in the fields of this world. They have rivers of living water, which proceeds from the throne of God, flowing in and through them so that they never thirst. They have their affection and desires in the Law of God and the peace which cannot be understood and they long to return to their Father’s house. Here they will hear the songs of Zion, the song of the Redeemed which none can know but the redeemed of Yehovah. They will see the Lamb in the beauty of His Holiness and sing His praises forevermore.
The children of the dust, which is the earthen vessel wherein the eternal seed has been planted, considers the glad tidings of great joy to be foolishness and though Adam desires to live on in perpetuity yet the body is dead because of sin. It is carnal, sold under the inability to know, receive or comply with the perfection of the Holiness of God, yet by the shed blood of the Lamb has the inside of the dwelling been swept clean. The leaven has been completely put away from the houses (Ex. 12:15) so that “there shall be no leaven bread seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen in all your quarters” (13:7). The blood has been struck upon the door posts and the elect have been sealed with the name of the Father in their foreheads but, just as the representation in the type where the ‘shanties’ in Goshen were left behind as Yehovah delivered Israel, so shall this tabernacle be ‘put off’ when the time of habitation in this dwelling place is complete (II Pt. 1:14).
Thus the chosen people of the Lord, which are but a remnant according to grace, dwell in the land afore prepared for them. They cannot drive out the indigenous of the land because they are the prepared (good) ground wherein the seed has been planted. The seed, which may lay in apparent dormancy for an appointed time, hears the voice of the Saviour and the eternal life within the seed is revealed. The Father reveals Himself unto His children, again in the appointed hour, and they hear the testimony of the Spirit which bears witness with their spirit that they are indeed the sons of God. Being given this wisdom and spiritual understanding they are enabled to know the number of the beast, which is the number of man and as the light of His glory shines forth into their hearts they see the vanity of the soil they are planted in.
The Spirit of Yehovah, dwelling in the inner man, is indeed stronger than the clay pot of the outward man which the hand of the Potter has fashioned from the dust of the earth. This same Spirit has decreed that, not only is this habitation in weakness necessary but that it is profitable for the children as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will. The cares and needs of the flesh demonstrate the impotence of Adam and the fountain of his habitation (Gezer) which is frail, limited, carnal and temporal. The corruption and vileness of the ways of man and the vanity of this world are the trials and tribulations which are assigned to the citizens of Zion as they live as ambassadors of the Anointing in the foreign land.
Each of these temptations after the desires of the flesh, which are common to all men, are for the trying of the faith within just as Yehovah God left the Canaanites in the Promise land; “that through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of Yehovah to walk therein as their father’s or not” (Jud. 2:22). Since the children of the Israel of our God are born of incorruptible seed and cannot fall short of the glory of God; “for His seed remains in him and he cannot sin because he is born from above” (I John 3:9). Since the Spirit of the Most High God dwells within He has forgiven their iniquity, removing it as far as the east is from the west and He will remember their sin no more (Jer. 31:34). Since the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, who is the fullness of the Godhead (Col.2:9), dwells in His people and shall never leave nor forsake them (I Kings 8:57); and since He has finished the work of saving His people from their sin (Zech. 9:16), sought and found all that was lost (Luke 19:10) and has been declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead (Rms. 1:4): and since He has ascended unto the Father, who was well pleased with the perfect sacrifice for sin, and has declared His generation, losing none but raising them all up in Him in the last day; therefore each member in particular of the single body of the Anointing “keeps the commandments of God and has the testimony of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah” (Rev. 12:17).
The trials and tribulations are not to see if there be any faith within, for all men have not faith. Nor is it to see what manner of faith is within these children of the King for there is “one body and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you all” (Eph. 4:4). Nor are these to prove the faith of the children for the faith which dwells within them, wherein they live and move and have their being, is the faith of the Son of God who loved them and gave Himself for them; “the just shall live by His faith” (Hab. 2:4).
The time of the habitation in the earthen vessels, wherein the children are made partakers of flesh and blood, along with the limitations, hardships and weaknesses of the flesh is for the proving of the faith of God within. The Bridegroom shows His Beloved the festering compost of the nature of Adam along with the emptiness of this existence, which she has been made subject unto, as a manifest token of the Kingdom of His love, for which she suffers. He brings her low in the land of Canaan upon the sandy soil of the dwelling of generations wherein is the place of crowds and broad streets, which lead unto destruction, to show her that she has been exalted on high in Him and not in Adam. The hope that this incites is the earnest expectations of being delivered from the body of this death; it is the anticipation of being absent from this body and present with the eternal sovereign; it is the abandonment of the habitations of this dwelling for the manifestation of the tabernacles not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believe and therefore have I spoken, we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise us up also by Jesus and shall present with you. For all things are for your sakes that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God; for which cause we do not faint, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward is renewed day by day; for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house of tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (II Cor. 4:13- 5:1).
“And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eli-ab and said, Surely Yehovah’s anointed is before him. But Yehovah said unto Samuel, Do not look on his countenance or on the height of his stature because I have refused him for not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance but Yehovah looks upon the heart” (I Sam. 16:6).
When God manifested the first child of the union of Adam and Eve, He brought forth a man child who was the ‘possessor’ and ‘labourer of the ground’ (Cain). He next brought forth the ‘vapor of the breath’ who was the ‘leader’ and ‘ruler’ of they that ‘migrate’ and wander about (Abel). The one was a hard worker who could provide for himself and his family from the abundance of the earth but the other was a calm and docile person. Cain, the possessor, is more esteemed of man because of his abilities, his labours are considered of greater importance and his curse was to stay in the ‘fountain of his dwelling’. Just like Esau, Cain was established as the example of the way of man in this world for he laboured in the ground (Heb. -‘adamah’) from which his father, Adam, was first formed.
Abel however, would not be considered a good role model for the society of man for he is none productive, very passive and separated from the world dwelling in the pastures of the fields. The eyes of man are focused upon the pleasures of this life and those who are active in the pursuits thereof are highly esteemed of men. Yet this was the child of grace unto whom God had afore ordained and established his station in life and all abilities necessary to occupy and fulfill that position.
When the sons of the child of promise, Isaac, were manifested, the first was red and shaggy “like a garment” but he was a “cunning hunter, a man of the field…and Isaac loved Esau because he did eat of venison” (Gen. 25:25f). In complete deference to the promise which God had given to Rebekah that the elder shall serve the younger, father Isaac loved the man of the ‘spread out land’ (fields) for he was the epitome of the natural abilities of man.
Jacob, however, was a plain man who dwelt in tents. He was a supplanter in his ways as he lied and cheated his way unto prominence and for this he was hated of his brother. This hatred was such that Esau sought to kill Jacob, therefore he fled into the fields and unto the building house (Laban) where his family would grow. The station in life which Yehovah had assigned this child of promise was not one of austerity and fame but one of fear, anxiety and shame; “I will leave in the midst of you an afflicted and poor people and they shall trust in the name of Yehovah” (Zeph. 3:12).
Jacob’s first born was the product of deception as Laban gave him Leah first instead of Rachel as he had agreed. Jacob was not given to cast her out or banish her to the obscurity of the family for God had decreed that she should bring forth many sons unto Jacob. The first was to be the builder of the house (Reuben) and for almost 60 years he lived in the prominence of the heir of the house of Jacob. Yet God had interwoven a matter unto the nature of this man that would lead him into an act of indiscretion which was kept silent for years and when the appointed time was come, He caused Jacob to give the birth-right unto Ephraim. The logical and much anticipated course which man would have concluded as being proper was not the way of God whereby Ephraim was made as the first-born of Israel. But God did not grant this one a smooth ride in the lap of luxury upon the heavenly highway unto the celestial city; He made him of questionable heritage. Ephraim was the son of a foreign woman who was the daughter of a priest of a pagan god.
Esau took Judith and Bash-e-math of the children of Heth (terror) as his wives “which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah” (Gen. 26:35). Jacob was commanded of his father that he not take a daughter of the people of the land to wife or of the daughters of the people of terror, therefore he was sent unto the ‘extended field of the dweller of God’ (Padan-aram; Beth-uel). When the hand-writing of ordinances were set forth for the people of Israel, foreign wives were expressly forbidden; “neither shall you make marriages with them, your daughters shall you not give unto his son nor his daughter shall you take unto your son; for they will soon turn you away from following Me that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of Yehovah be kindled against you and destroy you suddenly” (Deut. 7:3f). Thus Joseph and his family should have been disqualified from the house of promise because of the very act which brought forth the child who should be ruler in Israel.
God set a mark against Ephraim in that he was the son of a dead man therefore he should have been considered as unclean. He was educated in an heathen society, spoke an unknown tongue and was raised up in the religious training of the house of On. He was not a true child of Jacob but was indeed a grandchild and he was the youngest of the offspring mentioned in the heritage of the house of Joseph. All these factors were against Ephraim and no court of law would uphold his claim to the rights and privileges of the first-born; indeed nothing in and of this man would endear him to the rest of the family. He was an outcast and a stranger which would disqualify him and his family from ever being able to enter into the tabernacle in obedience being “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers form the covenants of promise, having no hope, being without the Anointing n the world (Eph. 2:12).
God also set upon the family of Ephraim, what would appear to be, a speech impediment. This was not a learning disability wherein a child was never taught to properly pronounce a word and it was not a misunderstanding due to a regional accent or dialect. Forty-two thousand men were slain by the swords of the children of Gilead because they “could not frame to pronounce (the word) correctly” (Jud. 12:6). As if all the other factors which stood against Ephraim were not sufficient, God added unto the family of the birth-right of Israel, a well known flaw in their character. Instead of saying the word ‘Shibboleth’ meaning ‘flowing’ they said ‘Cibboleth’ which means an ear of grain or wheat.
(There is no record of anyone prior to this encounter speaking in this fashion but the men of Gilead knew that the men of Ephraim could not say the word. Thus is might be that Joshua himself was impaired with this peculiar mark of God. Thus it may be conceivable that the children of Israel dismissed the testimony of the dog and the man who could not speak properly)
The mystery of the gospel is set forth in Ephraim who is unacceptable according to the national, religious and physical standards of the people of Israel. To the religious elitist of the world who think themselves the chosen people of God this man and his family have no right to be numbered amongst their unique assembly. They do not qualify, in the discriminating eyes of man, as the beautiful, righteous or holy people whom God has stooped down and shown His favour unto. These are neither whole nor righteous, being halt, blind, diseased and unclean, and thus they were not highly esteemed among men. Certainly there must have been something amiss in Ephraim, his parents or in his children that they should all be afflicted for their sin in this manner. This is a common fallacy and identifying factor of the doctrine of Adam; “Remember I pray you, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off?” (Job 4:7) Even the disciples demonstrated this attitude when they asked Jesus concerning the blind man; “Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, neither has this man nor his parents but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:2f).
The Anointed Salvation of Yehovah is anointed by the Spirit of God to preach glad tidings unto the meek; He is sent to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive and open the prisons to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of Yehovah and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of Yehovah that He might be glorified. He did not come to call the righteous to repentance or to heal they which had no need of the Great Physician; He came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, to seek and to save that which was lost.
Ephraim was brought into this world under the circumstances and conditions that were necessary for him. He was set for a type and foreshadow of the mystery of the gospel and grace of God. Although the man Ephraim and his children exhibit all the characteristics and deficiencies of Adam yet the grace of God was demonstrated in the lives of a few. These represent the despised, rejected and outcast of men that have been; “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of the Spirit, unto the sprinkling of the blood of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah” (I Pt. 1:2). They have been chosen in the furnace of affliction, been given to eat the bread of adversity and to drink of the waters of affliction; they are tried in the Refiner’s Fire as the wood, hay and stubble of the works of their hands are consumed. Yet they have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God and reconciled unto God by Himself that they should be “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should shew forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness and into His marvellous light: which in times past were not a people but now are the people of God; which had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (I Pt. 2:9f).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 25, 2016
Banner of Hope
Volume 10, No. 2